Today’s post is one of firsts – the first time I’ve reviewed a product, the first time I’ve held a sponsored giveaway, and the first time I’ve used kale and joy in the same sentence.
Freshly Wild Kale Joy is an all-natural, artisanal product made from fresh kale that’s been tossed with herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, and juices, then dehydrated to create a power-packed super food. Kale is one of the world’s healthiest foods and an excellent source of vitamins K, A, C and manganese. It’s also loaded with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventive nutrients.
I had never tasted a commercially prepared kale product (artisanal or otherwise) before trying Kale Joy so the only thing I can compare it to are the kale chips I make at home using Tuscan* kale, olive oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper. (I like Tuscan kale because its flavour is slightly sweeter and more subtle than curly kale.) If you’ve never eaten kale chips before, you might be surprised by the transformation they undergo when roasted in a slow oven. The slightly bitter greens morph into delicate crisps, so fragile that if they aren’t handled with care, they can crumble between the fingers like singed parchment paper.
*Also known as Tuscan cabbage, Italian kale, Dinosaur kale, or Lacinato kale.
Very few commercially prepared foods will win a taste-test against homemade (only Heinz ketchup comes to mind) but since Kale Joy is a quality product made with only natural ingredients, I hoped it would be a close match. Here’s how it measured up:
Texture – Kale Joy has the same wonderful weightlessness as homemade but, in a retail product, that frailness can present some challenges. Even though the snacks are packaged in an award-winning resealable bag (complete with a desiccant to absorb moisture) many were in tiny pieces, and as with most packages of ‘chips’, there were quite a few crumbs at the bottom of the bag.
Convenience – With a ready-to-go-anywhere package, no cooking and no clean-up required, Kale Joy is the clear winner in the convenience category.
Flavour – When it comes to flavour, Kale Joy snacks are much bigger and bolder in flavour than the chips I make at home. They come in three different varieties:
- Original Recipe – a mix of kale, cashews, lemon juice, sesame seeds, apple juice, chia seeds, nutritional yeast, walnuts, and sea salt
- Must Eat Mesquite – a southwest inspired blend of kale, cashews, lemon juice, sesame seeds, apple juice, chia seeds, organic evaporated can juice syrup, chili powder, walnuts, mesquite, sea salt, and onion
- Jazzy Sweet Mustard – a sweet and tangy blend of kale, cashews, lemon juice, sesame seeds, organic evaporated cane juice syrup, apple juice, chia seeds, mustard powder, walnuts, sea salt and onion
The Winner – At the risk of sounding wishy-washy, they’re both winners. As a side with dinner, I prefer kale chips that are fresh from the oven. The clean, simple tastes of olive oil and sea salt complement most foods and the long, flat leaves look nicer on the plate. For a snack, I’d pick Kale Joy for its convenience and zippy flavours.
To find out more about Freshly Wild Kale Joy or find a store near you, visit them at Freshly Wild Super Foods.
Freshly Wild Super Foods and Fresh Ideas Group have offered to give away a delicious Kale Joy prize pack to one lucky reader. To enter, just leave a comment on this post answering the following question: have you ever eaten kale chips?
- The giveaway is open until Thursday, December 23, 2012 at midnight PST.
- The winner will be chosen randomly using the WP Plug-In ‘Pick Giveaway Winner’ and notified by email.
- The prize pack includes one 1.2 oz (32 g) bag Original Recipe, one 1.2 oz (32 g) bag Jazzy Sweet Mustard, and one 1.2 oz (32 g) bag Must Eat Mesquite. Approximate prize value $14.97 USD.
- U.S and Canadian residents only.
Disclaimer: I received one complimentary Kale Joy prize pack for review. I was not compensated for this post nor was I required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. Product images are courtesy of Fresh Ideas Group.